News moves fast. Keep up with the BuzzFeed News daily email!
I once ran a fraudulent operation where I conned Blue Peter out of Blue Peter badges.
I did this by pretending to be members of my family who did not exist.
I didn’t do this because I hated this show.
No, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
I conned Britain’s longest-running kids’ programme from a place of love and admiration.
I was 8 years old.
You were supposed to be allowed a maximum of three different badges from Blue Peter. If you sent them a letter, you got a badge. A different drawing or a poem? Another badge. A note about the environment? A third.
At one point I had about 15 badges. All of these were gained through a con. All of these were meant for brothers who I created in my head.
You’re probably wondering why on earth I did this.
Now, aged 29, I have wondered this too.
One reason was that I had three older sisters, and everything in the Bryan household was a competition — even down to who used the tallest cup at dinnertime because of a theory that it held the most orange squash (it didn’t). At one stage, being the sibling who received the most post was everything to me.
So, this con partly began because I wanted more post than my sisters.
But more importantly, I was a huge fan of Blue Peter. Too much of a fan, some might say. Take this actual letter that I wrote aged 8 and tried to send to Katy Hill, one of the show’s presenters at the time.
But one day the team at Blue Peter were the ones writing to me. It was an email.
That’s right, an email. I was no longer 8. I was now 29.
To celebrate the show’s 60th birthday, Blue Peter was asking if I would like to visit the set in Salford, meet the current presenters Lindsey Russell and Radzi Chinyanganya, have a tour of the studios, and also present a pretend feature on camera, to prove how hard it is to make a show like this.
As you can imagine, I said yes. So quickly, in fact, I don’t think I asked my boss if I could actually go first. When I did ask, I said something like: “I am going to Salford to visit Blue Peter, and if you say no I am going to go anyway, and if you don’t want an article about this written I will write one anyway.”
Blue Peter is now broadcast once a week on CBBC. While on the train up to Salford, I decided to watch a recent episode to see whether the show is still how I remembered it. It felt as relatable as it always was, right up until the moment when Lindsey and Radzi reviewed the contents of a time capsule that the show buried. (It was accidentally dug up 33 years too early.)
I immediately aged 10 years in 10 seconds.
The worst thing was that I actually remember watching that very same episode in 1999 when Richard Bacon and Katy Hill buried the time capsule.
When I arrived at the Blue Peter studios, I started to develop this weird feeling in my stomach. It took me a while to work out what it was. At first, I thought it was a croissant I had at Manchester Piccadilly station. I then realised it was guilt. Specifically, Blue Peter badge guilt.
“What if they knew?” I thought. “What if they immediately turn me away after I arrive?” I knew that was very unlikely — I mean it would make a really rather short BuzzFeed feature — but it still rattled my mind anyway.
So the best course of action, I decided, was to immediately tell the editor of Blue Peter, Ewan Vinnicombe, literally everything about my badge con not long after I arrived — pretty much an audio version of this article — in the incredibly unlikely event that he happened to know.
As it turns out, he didn’t.
I mean, of course he didn’t.
When I said that I felt guilty, he simply joked: “I hope you feel guilty.”
My specific presenter challenge that day was to do, on camera, one of the famous “Here’s one I made earlier” demonstrations, or “makes”, something that’s still a feature of the show today. Not Anthea Turner’s famous Thunderbirds Tracy Island make. No. Imagine. I was to show viewers how to make a contraption that fired ping-pong balls, which you could make at home out of a toilet roll tube, a paper bag, and a rubber band.
I would have three minutes to do this, the same amount of time the presenters would have if they were made to do it.
To help me prepare, I was told to watch a video of legendary Blue Peter presenter John Noakes attempting the same make. “This looks easy,” I thought as I watched him to do it.
I was then transported to the studio. Ewan gave me some useful advice: Remember to use the “here’s one I made earlier” models under the table, keep going even if you make a mistake, and whatever happens, keep talking.
The first 10 seconds of my make attempt on camera were perfect. The next five seconds consisted of the sound of the microphone box attached to the back of my trousers smashing on the floor, followed by me scooping it up.
I then quickly realised that I had made a fatal error. Instead of paying attention to the Noakes video as I had been told, I had simply been thinking to myself “this looks easy” in a loop throughout.
As a result, my instructions to the audience started to sound more than a little convoluted. I thought they were making sense. Make up your own mind.
I really wanted to say the famous Blue Peter line: “Here’s one I made earlier.” However, with my make looking like I’d just smothered some bog roll in tape, I ended up being honest and saying this instead:
I mistakenly blew into the contraption at one point, which caused a bang to explode through the toilet roll and just about broke the whole thing. I also failed to attach it to the bottle correctly, so it just tilted over.
And when my make came to an end, surprised that with great force the contraption actually fired something, I ended my segment by showing my belly button and saying this:
I said “And then it just ends” twice until everyone in the studio started clapping.
I spoke to one of the show’s presenters, Lindsey, afterwards. She was rather sympathetic, having once gotten into the habit of saying stuff like “overplonk it”, “whack it”, and “slop it” during her makes.
Lindsey also helped made me feel better about the whole thing.
“The best advice I ever got given when I started Blue Peter, when I was ‘oh my gosh, what if I make a mistake? What if I go wrong? What if the make goes wrong?” Lindsey said. “An Assistant Producer just took me aside and went: ‘You do realise this is not the BBC News at Ten. Firstly, we don’t have that viewership. Secondly, kids don’t care.'”
But in short, my attempt was far from what the below GIF would suggest.
I was then asked by the production team whether I would like a tour of Blue Peter. At first I wasn’t so sure. I mean, a tour of BuzzFeed consists of a fridge with different blocks of cheese inside followed by a brief look at my dead plant.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. The Blue Peter tour was, without a doubt, the best tour of anything I have ever been on in my entire life.
This is not an exaggeration.
First, a visit to the CBBC props cupboard, for anything the presenters might use on air. The cupboard was full to the brim of hundreds and hundreds of props, clearly organised in boxes under every category you can think of: “sea life and dinosaurs” / “British wildlife” / “puppet glasses” / “percussion instruments”.
There were seven boxes alone that separated wigs by colour.
There was a literal room full of totalisers and Blue Peter advent crown stored in a corner, now with fake electric candles — all ready to be used again so that nothing was wasted. It was a catalogued theme park.
I also took a photo of this box below. I don’t know why, but every single time I look at this photo I laugh. I still don’t know why.
Next, I visited Blue Peter editor Ewan’s letterbox. It seemed an odd place to visit until I learned about its contents. It contained a letter sent by the show to Ewan when he was a child, telling him that he was a runner-up in a competition. This, incidentally, is a status I never achieved despite all of my letters and entries.
Ewan went on to explain his reason for keeping the letter: “When I phone kids who have won our competitions or are the top runners-up, I can say ‘I was a runner-up when I was your age, and look what happened to me.’ You might be taking my job in a few years’ time.”
And we were shown a one-off Blue Peter badge. But not just any badge. It was a large aluminium badge designed by Jony Ive, chief design officer of Apple, which was given to the show after they interviewed him.
Then, the sacred Blue Peter letter-writing department. Every single letter that arrives here gets sorted by the team, read on a stand next to their computer, then logged in a database.
Yes, the guilt came back. Don’t @ me.
In fact, in an era of social media you would expect the post to have dried up, but far from it. They can receive 3,000 letters in a single day. An employee showed me a picture he took on his phone of a stack of letters the team got a couple of days after they launched a recent competition.
It was at this point that Ewan brought out a bag containing a collection of Blue Peter badges, dating back many years. And next to it, encased in a small box, a cultural rarity, something that I would have never been able to con out of the programme: a gold Blue Peter badge.
This was the highest rank of Blue Peter badges, reserved for people living gold-star lives. The Mary Berrys among us. The David Attenboroughs. The Beckhams. The absolute best of Britain. The recipient would invariably have done something truly exceptional and in almost every case would be given their badge on camera.
“Is it real gold?” someone next to me on the tour asked.
“It is not made of gold,” a BBC employee leading the tour responded.
“It’s the BBC!” I replied.
And then, just when I assumed that the tour had come to its conclusion, it continued. We went into a room, but it was not any old room. It was a Blue Peter archive. Essentially, an archive of my entire youth.
The kayak Helen Skelton went down the Amazon in. Every single Blue Peter annual. A poo emoji make. Boxes and boxes of heavily contextualised costumes and outfits from travels and trips that the presenters cover.
“Close your eyes,” said Ewan.
When I opened them, right in front of me, Ewan was holding one of the Tracy Island models Anthea Turner originally made on Blue Peter.
I quietly lost it.
“Would you want to pose with Tracy Island?” asked a CBBC member of staff.
“When else am I going to pose?” I thought.
You won’t find a photo of me happier.
After this photo, I looked down near my feet. Near one of them lay some of the remains of the Blue Peter time capsule that was accidentally dug up early — the same capsule I saw being buried to mark the turn of the millennium when I was 10 years old.
They had to get an angle grinder to open it.
“What a weird coincidence,” I thought to myself.
But then there was an even bigger one — for me, probably the biggest.
Katy Hill was there that day. That’s right, the Katy Hill who I sent a letter, asking her to come round to my house for three days and two nights. She was there to pre-record a short feature on camera with Lindsey and Radzi. I was asked whether I wanted to have a chat with her.
For most of the time we talked, I didn’t know whether or not to tell her about the letter. We chatted about how she’d wanted to do this job from the age of 5, and how one of the current presenters watched her on TV when they were a child.
We then talked about specific episodes: when she was in a bobsleigh and when she was training for the RAF, which involved her being put into a cage and lowered into a swimming pool. I told her that I had watched both episodes.
“Are you my stalker?” she joked.
When was I going to tell her?
“Screw it,” I thought. Knowing that I had a photo of the letter on my phone, I decided to tell her about it. As she discussed the weird things she’d had to do on the show, I made things even weirder by saying:
“Speaking of weird things… I tried to send a letter to Blue Peter, addressed to you.”
“Yes!” said Katy, excitably. “Did I reply?”
“We didn’t send it, because my parents found it a bit creepy.”
I then read out the letter. I then passed her my phone. And for the life of me, I cannot remember exactly what happened next. I can only imagine that it is like being asked to perform on stage at a concert with a band you love after being picked from the crowd. It is an absolute blur — a moment so good it’s been cut out of my memory for good.
Plus, though I recorded this conversation on my phone, there is no audio of it. Katy was accidentally covering the microphone while she was looking at the photo of my letter to her when I was 8.
But she loved it. Thank goodness.
When I listen back to the audio, Katy reading the letter sounds as though it unintentionally brought on the apocalypse.
If only I could tell my 8-year-old self about this. How this weird, stupid letter had actually led to something. Not days, not weeks, but years later.
In fact, if I could, I would also tell him that separate from my visit to Blue Peter that day, I also once heard back from Stuart Miles, in regards to the birthday party he couldn’t go due to “filming commitments”.
I mentioned this anecdote briefly in an old BuzzFeed post. He then responded to it all, out of the blue, in an email.
I really should tell him about my 30th birthday next June.
After the interview, Katy just…hung around. Even though her segment had been recorded, she stayed to watch the current live episode go out with her daughter.
During that day’s rehearsal, there was a feature about what it was like to drive a tank. We all went into the studio together, behind the cameras, to see it all go out live. While the pre-taped film was playing out during the rehearsal, Katy and Radzi were comparing notes on what it was like to shoot this sort of thing.
Twenty years apart.
And this wasn’t for the benefit of anyone else, the journalists who were there that day, or the crew or crowd filming around them. It was just for the benefit of the pair of them, the show somehow weaving their lives together so closely, yet decades apart.
After that rehearsal and before I headed home, I was asked whether I would like to have a picture taken against one of the Blue Peter signs.
I told another journalist who was also there everything that had happened that day, and how it felt to finally reveal my letter to Katy Hill.
“It appeared like this was the end of a long journey of your life,” he said, shortly before the photo below was taken.
And you know what?
I reckon he was right.
Blue Peter, the 60th anniversary episode, will be aired on the CBBC Channel at 5pm on Tuesday, 16 October
I was only a tiny 6-year-old when Bend It Like Beckham was released, but I still remember it being THE film to watch. It was an instant classic, not only with my Indian family but with audiences everywhere. Funnily enough, the movie even followed me to high school where I had to study it one year for English.
But it’s been ages since I’ve seen Bend It Like Beckham, so I thought I would rewatch it as an adult to see if it’s as good as I remember it. Here’s how it went down.
1. Of course we open with some random football commentary.
2. Did someone say David Beckham? My body is ready.
3. Oh look, there he is! But wait, he’s BALD?! Noooooooo.
4. Jess is here too? Wait, I remember now. This is a ~dream sequence~.
5. OMG Mrs Bhamra!!!!
6. Wow, even after all these years she still sounds EXACTLY like my mum.
7. “She shouldn’t be showing her bare legs to people”, “she’s bringing shame on the family” – just Desi kid things, am I right?
8. That raised hand still strikes fear into my heart and I’m technically an adult now. At least she isn’t holding a rolling pin.
9. Oh, this is cool. I can understand the Punjabi that Mrs Bhamra is speaking. See Mum, I was paying attention in Hindi school.
10. “Your sister is getting engaged and you’re here watching this skinhead boy.” Lmao, what a burn.
11. UH wait, my sister is getting married too. I couldn’t have done this rewatch at a more relatable time. *High fives self.*
12. “I’m sick of this wedding and it hasn’t even started.” Big mood, I think my sister just said this the other day.
13. This slow pan in to Beckham’s face is…slightly creepy.
14. Did Pinky really just say bitch in front of her mum? That would have earned me a slap tbh.
15. It’s good to see that I’m not the only that hates achaar (pickled vegetables).
16. This is some grooooooovy Bollywood music playing in the background.
17. Who are these girls? Surely they’re not Pinky’s friends because that girl just fake laughed really badly.
18. Oh, they’re ~frenemies~.
19. INNIT! LATERS! Lmao, is this how British people actually talk?
20. I love how the first time we’re introduced to Jules, it’s in a lingerie store with her mum pumping a bra insert.
21. Side note, when’s the last time I saw Keira Knightley in a movie?
22. Holy shit, it’s Tony. I completely forgot about him until now.
23. Helloooooo shirtless guys playing football in the park.
24. How does Jules look so effortless while running? I’m always red and sweaty.
25. Haha, I love how Jess just trumps the boys so easily. TAKE THAT.
26. And now we’re back to another slow pan of the Beckham poster. Is that going to be a thing?
27. “Why don’t you put a nice picture of beautiful sceneries instead of this bald man?” Okay, Indian parents sure know how to roast people.
28. And they know how to put on a SPREAD. Look at that dessert platter.
29. Jess serving all the food reminds me so much of my childhood.
30. Who am I kidding? I still live with my parents and also have to serve when guests are over.
31. Is that…is that a Nokia 3310? And a FLIP phone? A WRIST STRAP TOO?!
32. Jeez, this movie really is old.
33. I feel triggered by that auntie stuffing her son’s face with ladoo.
34. Seeing these three watching the boys reminds me exactly of this excellent meme.
35. The thought of going up to random strangers and talking to them makes me sweat, but Jules makes it look so casual.
36. And the look she gives Jess when the boys are slagging them off is so damn relatable. Boys can be such dicks.
37. OMG this Basement Jaxx song. I’m pretty sure I had to learn a dance routine to it in primary school.
38. Helloooooo Coach Joe. Boy, did I have a huge crush on him when I first watched this.
39. Still do actually.
40. I wish I could play football like this but I suck. Like I get excited when I touch the ball, and it’s a bonus if I hit it in the right direction.
41. “I’ve never seen an Indian girl into football.” That’s because the majority of us were never allowed to consider it a profession. Ugh.
42. I feel the need to point out that Jules is wearing one of those iconic ’00s headbands with the spikes. Do they even exist anymore?
43. Jess lying about her folks being down for things sounds a lot like my teenage years.
44. Annnnd we’re back to the Beckham poster again.
45. “LOOK AT THE STATE OF MY FUSCHIAS!” Iconic, lol.
46. Jules’ mum being more worried about her finding a boy than improving her soccer skills makes me mad.
47. Kudos to Joe for making Jess feel less ashamed of the burn on her leg.
48. And to Tony for standing up against his sexist friends. Maybe not all men are bad…maybe.
49. Ah, the classic lecture from mum. Yes I remember these.
50. “You know people talk.” *Rolls eyes dramatically.*
51. I can’t tell you how much that “haaaaa” from Mrs Bhamra reminded me of my mum.
52. I love how Jess’ dad is trying to be fair and reasonable but her mum is like NOOOOOOOOOO. Once again, I feel very seen.
53. Like I get why Mrs Bhamra has banned her from playing football but it stills feels so unfair.
54. And of course it just drives Jess to go behind their backs. This won’t end up well and I’m speaking from personal experience.
55. Are they watching Zee TV? Because that’s my entire childhood right there.
56. No, no, no, don’t open the box, don’t open the box.
57. And the box has been opened. MAJOR YIKES.
58. All these photos Jules has with her coach feels kind of…weird. Like he seems so much older than them?
59. OH MY GOD. THOSE SHOES. THE BOWS. What a disaster.
60. “Jess? Is that Indian?” *Face palm.*
61. Typical Indian aunties back at it again with all their tea and no receipts.
62. I can’t believe they’re actually calling off the wedding because Jess was supposedly kissing an English boy. That’s wild and not accurate.
63. PINKY WHY WOULD YOU SELL OUT YOUR SISTER LIKE THAT?! That’s going against the sibling code.
64. RIP to the fairy lights. I guess the wedding really is off.
65. Ooooooh I totally forgot that Coach Joe takes a trip to Jess’ house.
66. He’s looking like an absolute snack.
67. I hate that I just typed that but it’s true.
68. Every time the camera focuses on Baba Ji I feel like I need to confess something.
69. Lmao, I think Joe feels the same way. He looks nervous.
70. I hate how Mr B was made fun of and not accepted into clubhouse because of his turban. Racism is so ugly and gross.
71. Okay, Pinky does redeem herself by covering for Jess but what I really want to know is how Jess paid for a ticket to Germany. That shit is expensive.
72. Jess should know that rule one of any trip is to bring clubbing clothes because you just never know.
73. DAMN JESSMINDER! Leather has never looked so good.
74. Haha, all of the outfits in this club are so ’00s. The cringe is real.
75. Joe, stop biting your lip when you’re talking to Jess. It’s very distracting.
76. I still feel slightly uncomfortable about the whole coach-player romance.
77. “You bitch.” Ouch, that has to hurt.
78. Oh boy, Jess’s family is waiting to pick her up. She’s in big trouble now.
79. Jess and Joe are doing the whole “yeah, I don’t care about the kiss, let’s just forget about it” talk.
80. Meanwhile Jules is mad that they kissed…but they didn’t? Close enough I guess but people really need to stop jumping to conclusions in this movie.
81. And now Jules’ mum thinks her and Jess are dating. What a mess.
82. JESS, C’MON. Your first response to Tony coming out shouldn’t be “but you’re Indian?”
83. Back at it again with the sneaking off.
84. And that Basement Jaxx music.
85. And Baba Ji looking on ominously.
86. For crying out loud Tony, could you get any more ’00s with those yellow-tinted sunglasses?!
87. This dramatic tabla music really amps up the tension.
88. AHHHH Mr Bhamra is here. He knows everything, the gig is up, it’s all over.
89. That girl just clearly fouled Jess and called her a Paki???!!! SEND HER OFF, REF!!
90. And Jess gets the red card. Wooooooooooooooow. Disappointed but not surprised.
91. Finally some good news. The wedding is back on and the lights are going up again.
92. Watching Jules’ dad teach her mum the rules of football by using condiments is literally the cutest thing.
93. Like she’s trying to understand her daughter and her passions! Goals, goals, goals.
94. Meanwhile Jess receives top notch exam results and her parents are relieved because it means she can become a solicitor. What a contrast.
95. Nooooo! Not the Beckham posters. Poor Jess.
96. Oooooh Joe is back and he’s casually peering into the Bhamra’s house like it’s no big deal.
97. Well, that was a waste. But now it’s wedding time!!!
98. “Don’t smile! Indian brides never smile. You’ll ruin the bloody video.” – Looooool I know this is thing in in Indian weddings but why?
99. There’s a HORSE. I repeat, there’s a HORSE at the wedding.
100. For someone that has never worn a sari before, Jess is carrying it really well. I would definitely trip on all the fabric.
101. Tony, you’re being a good friend but my heart can’t handle any more family drama.
102. “Pinky is so happy and you look as if you’ve come to your father’s funeral.” Daddy B at it again with those fire lines.
103. Indian weddings are wild, so it’s entirely plausible that Jess could sneak off for an hour or two.
104. Yes, okay. This is your time to shine Jess. Impress that American scout!!!
105. Oh, I forgot that Jules’ mum thinks that her and Jess were dating.
106. I remember thinking that this scene with her family during the penalty was super cringe. But now I think it’s perfect…like it feels so right and good to share in Jess’ triumph.
107. Also did she just bend the ball like Beckham? Or was that just a catchy movie title?
108. The most unrealistic part of this movie is definitely the girls managing to tie Jess’ sari perfectly.
109. I LOVE HOW HAPPY AND TRIUMPHANT JESS IS RETURNING TO HER SISTER’S WEDDING. This is such a good moment.
110. I’m getting secondhand embarrassment from this confrontation between Jules’ mum and Jess.
111. “Lesbian? Her birthday’s in March. I thought she was a Pisces.” Hands down, this is the best line in the movie.
112. Woah, woah, woah. Tony, chill. No one is getting engaged here.
113. YESSSS JESS, TELL YOUR PARENTS THE TRUTH!!!! NO MORE LIES!!!
114. Oh, that did not go the way she wanted.
115. Wait, I spoke too soon. And now I need tissues, lots of tissues.
116. Did she…did she run all the way from her house to tell Joe?
117. Yesss finally the girl doesn’t have to end up with the guy at the end of a movie.
118. Really? They end up together? Fineeeee.
119. What random actors did they hire to play Posh and Becks??? They look nothing like them.
120. Eeeeeee Mrs B offering Jules’ Mum a tissue and introducing her family. Now that’s a happy ending.
121. Hold up, Pinky is putting Jess’ team photo on the mantle.
122. And her father is playing cricket with Joe even though he vowed not to play with goras anymore!!!!!! HUGE AND FANTASTIC AND A GREAT ENDING.
123. Hold up, I forgot about the bonus credits scenes.
124. This is a fun remix of “Hot-Hot-Hot”, even if it’s a little cringe.
125. Watching white people trying to sing Hindi lyrics makes me laugh. I’m sorry.
126. But everyone is happy and having fun. This is really cute.
127. And that’s it? Man, what a great movie.
In Friends, the front of the set can be seen during some of Jack’s lines in “The One Where Ross Got High.”
In The Office, Michael tossed Jim a condom to avoid a “surprise pregnancy” before he visited Pam in New York. Jim rolled his eyes, but at the end of the season Pam was pregnant.
In Parks and Rec, Chris told Ann that their baby was the size of a green olive, and Ann said she liked the name “Olive.” They then named their first child Oliver.
In Friends, to celebrate Courteney Cox’s marriage to David Arquette, they added “Arquette” to every actor’s name in the opening credits of Season 6, Episode 1.
In The Office, Angela covered the meat on her plate with a napkin during “The Dinner Party” episode because she was a vegetarian.
In Parks and Rec, Andy opened the door to a bunch of trick-or-treaters, and one of them was dressed as his character from Guardians of the Galaxy.
In Friends, you can see Monica skate over the mattress she was supposed to land on to help break her fall in “The One with the Bullies.”
In The Office, Meredith asked Jim to sign her cast, but John Krasinski accidentally signed his real name instead of “Jim Halpert.”
In Parks and Rec, Tom always listed off a bunch of business ideas, and one of them actually turned out to be a real thing: Tom’s Bistro.
In Friends, someone in Central Perk put a potato inside the cake display stand.
In The Office, a different woman sat in Meredith’s seat during the pilot episode.
In Parks and Rec, Leslie’s blind date gave her a free MRI, and he said that she’d be able to have triplets the first time she got pregnant. Years later, she did.
In Friends, if you look close enough you can see that Matthew Perry is actually missing part of his middle finger.
In The Office, there was a small refrigerator cake topper next to the bride and groom atop Phyllis and Bob Vance’s wedding cake.
In Parks and Rec, the same box was used between Leslie and Ben every time they gifted something to each other.
In Friends, the fourth wall of the apartment was visible for a brief moment during “The One with the Secret Closet.”
In The Office, the pilot episode showcased Dwight aggressively humming “The Little Drummer Boy,” and five years later we found out that it’s Angela’s favorite song.
In Parks and Rec, Leslie went to Salvatore the barber in Season 1, and in the penultimate episode we found out that Ron had been going to Salvatore for decades.
In Friends, both apartment numbers changed throughout the series because they realized that apartments #4 and #5 would normally be on the bottom floor of a building.
In The Office, they subtly brought back the whole “Michael Scott has soft teeth” gag a few different times.
In Parks and Rec, Leslie once found weed in the community garden, and later on Michael Tansley, a former parks director, admitted to planting weed in several community gardens.
In Friends, Phoebe had a bottle of A1 Steak Sauce in her apartment, but she’s a vegetarian.
In The Office, Michael always showed a love for sugar, but in one episode he literally poured sugar into his diet coke.
In Parks and Rec, the “future” episode showed that Jean-Ralphio ultimately made his own brand of champagne.
In Friends, the guys loved the movie Die Hard, yet none of them ever commented on how similar Elizabeth’s (aka Ross’ ex) dad looked like Bruce Willis.
In The Office, Michael once kidnapped the pizza boy, aka Kevin McHale, and in a future episode Michael exclaimed that his favorite character on Glee was “the invalid,” who was played by Kevin McHale.
In Parks and Rec, April wore a gray hoodie to hide her wedding dress, and later on her sister ended her speech by saying that she lost her gray hoodie, meaning April probably stole it.
In Friends, the actress who played Carol’s midwife when she gave birth to Ben also played Estelle, Joey’s agent.
In The Office, when Michael dressed up as Darryl it looked like there was a little bit of black paint on his neck, as if he considered doing blackface but ultimately decided against it.
In Parks and Rec, these signs were added above water fountains to show everyone in Pawnee how to properly drink from them.
In Friends, they almost always had a “reserved” sign on their go-to table, which explained why the couch was always open for them.
In The Office, Michael dressed up for Classy Christmas and made his Santa hat out of his Date Mike hat.
And in Parks and Rec, Leslie’s first task on the show was to get rid of the drunk guy in the slide, and in the final episode that same guy gave her one final job: to fix a park swing.
In this post series, I’ve been revisiting the movies I was obsessed with as a pre-teen and teen. Empire Records is one that I liked at the time (mainly because of Liv Tyler), but haven’t watched at all since. Here’s how the experience of rewatching it went down…
1. That Caesar haircut on guys was such a low point of ‘90s fashion.
2. Baby Renee Zellweger! She was overlining with that matte brown lipstick waaaaaaay before Kylie Jenner.
3. I could not tell you the last time I went into an actual music store. It was probably the ’90s.
4. The world really has changed a lot since then, hey.
5. “Trump Plaza”. Wild.
6. I have no memory of this casino scene. I thought the whole movie took place in the actual record store.
7. Lucas thinks he’s trying to save the store but he’s definitely going to lose all of Joe’s money.
8. Yep, there it goes.
9. Ethan Embry looks 12!
10. I had such a crush on A.J. Wait a cutie. That floppy brown hair. That cardigan. A total ‘90s dreamboat.
11. Omg I just realised the actor who plays him, Johnny Whitworth, was that creepy Cage guy in The 100!
12. Anthony LaPaglia!
13. “Frigging Rex Manning Day”. Lol.
14. That is a big-ass staff room.
15. Oohhh Liv Tyler. I was so obsessed with her in the ‘90s. Still low-key am, tbh.
16. A.J., read the room. Joe definitely has bigger problems than your love life right now.
17. “Buckethead” is definitely not said enough anymore.
18. I am a sucker for group singing/dancing scenes.
19. This movie really made me think working in retail would be a lot of fun. Ha. Hahahaha.
20. WAIT. Rex Manning is the guy from Grease 2? HOW DID I NEVER PUT THIS TOGETHER BEFORE?!??!
21. Liv Tyler’s outfit in this movie is SO iconic.
22. How did Joe not call the cops on Lucas, for real.
23. Why did Corey’s dad send her flowers at work? That’s weird.
24. Here’s Robin Tunney! What a cast.
25. You do look like a banana head for not calling the cops on Lucas, Joe. But you’re a good guy, I guess.
26. This scene of Deb shaving her head is amazing but I wish it didn’t mean Robin Tunney had to wear that terrible wig in The Craft.
27. Omg Lucas is playing with a Gameboy. Flashbaaaaaack.
28. Oh boy. A.J. is a total Nice Guy™, isn’t he?
29. “Yesterday you were normal…” Wait, Lucas isn’t this weird all the time?
30. “Shock me, shock me, shock me with that deviant behaviour!” That’s the most quotable line of the whole movie. After “It’s Rex Manning Day”, of course.
31. Oh, Joe is finally calling the cops. Or is he?!
32. “They’re my special recipe. You know what that means.” I do now but I did not at the time.
33. I’m cackling at Gina playing a song to make fun of Lucas stealing 9 grand. What a power move.
34. “Video Killed The Radio Star” is the perfect song for this movie in such a meta way.
35. Lmao @ Lucas taking the cushion with him so he “doesn’t leave the couch”.
36. “Marc” is a terrible name for a band.
37. Lucas is enjoying chasing this shoplifting kid way too much.
38. Heeeeeeeeere’s Rex Manning!
39. Omg I forgot Debi Mazar was in this.
40. Oh so Joe calls the cops on the shoplifter stealing a few CDs, but he still hasn’t properly reported the employee who stole 9 grand?!
41. “You were my favourite singer in high school.” Lol that accidental burn.
42. “She loves you. I’ve never heard of you.” Screaming at all these women dragging Rex Manning.
43. No, Debi Mazar, don’t go!
44. A.J. is pretty great at air guitar.
45. How did they manage to make Rex Manning look SO unappealing?!
46. No, Ethan Embry, do NOT try to kiss a customer who is just trying to listen to music!
47. “Lucas took $9,000! I only took a couple of CDs.” Warren raises some very good points.
48. You know, I like Joe. He seems like a good guy who actually cares about his employees.
49. Corey went from 0-100 real quick on the whole bringing Rex his lunch thing.
50. “I’m not a baby now.” Oh, but you are Corey.
51. A.J., now is really not the time to be spilling your feelings to Corey.
52. Also, telling a girl you hate her clothes is not really the best way to reveal that you care.
53. You know, I used to totally ship them, but now I kind of hate it.
54. No, Corey, don’t be awful to Gina just because you’re hurting.
55. Gina going to seduce Rex Manning just to hurt Corey is also messed up.
56. Ugh, yes, A.J. is SUCH a Nice Guy™ who is bitter about being in the friendzone.
57. And now he’s making out with Deb in the middle of the store to get at Corey. Unprofessional AND mean.
58. Joe SNAPPED.
59. Yeah, sure A.J., beat up Rex Manning. Real noble.
60. This is a super toxic workplace tbh.
61. This scene of Mark tripping feels kind of out of place right now.
62. Oh hey, Debi Mazar is back!
63. I just don’t think a fake funeral is the way to help a suicidal person.
64. Mark is seriously the only person who has done any work today huh.
65. This is a nice moment between Gina and Corey. But are they just gonna, like, ignore the fact that Corey apparently has a drug problem?
66. Okay I guess Lucas and Joe’s dynamic is starting to make sense now given Lucas’ back story.
67. Oh SHIT Warren came back with a gun?!
68. This movie is so much messier than I remember it being.
69. Ohhh the gun was shooting blanks.
70. Yaaaass go Gina. This “Sugar High” song is gonna be in my head all day now.
71. “Doesn’t anybody work in this store?” Lol most real line of the whole movie.
72. Of course Mitch is suddenly keen to sell to Joe.
73. I hate this cheesy ending with A.J. and Corey but I also kind of love it. Goddamn I’m a sucker for this shit.
74. Just kiss already!!
75. There we go.
76. And I’m grinning at this dance scene to finish the movie off. They know how to get me.